This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Let me take you across the globe on a Middle Eastern adventure! Allow the Lebanese to capture your heart with an authentic Middle Eastern dessert: Aish El-Saraya-Rose Water Bread Pudding!
Also known as Egyptian palace bread, this Rose Water Bread Pudding recipe is aromatic and covered with sweet cream, known as Ashta! My recipe is the Lebanese take on this eat-every-last-bite dessert, and trust me when I say that you won’t regret trying it.
The caramelized-sugar-syrup-drenched toast combined with creamy Ashta and topped with some toasted almond slivers or pistachios is not a taste blend you can forget. Make it a showstopper for special occasions, and prepare to be the talk of the party!
Lebanese Rose Water Bread Pudding!
This dessert had a constant presence in our dessert rotation. My mom made it often when I was younger, and she made it good! I simply tweaked her recipe and gave it that extra kick! And just to reassure you, my mom definitely approves of my Aish El Saraya recipe!
This Middle Eastern dessert is full of soothing sweet flavors, light clotted cream (Ashta), and a whole lot of love! It is just one of those recipes where the comfort of our ancestors’ history and traditions is hidden beneath creamy bites!
What is Aish El Saraya?
Aish El Saraya is a Middle Eastern dessert mainly found in the Levantine. The name literally translates to “palace bread,” so it is a dessert fit for kings, you know? The syrup-soaked breadcrumbs, clotted cream, and various toppings make it a widely enjoyed dessert, especially during Ramadan!
One of the main ingredients of this pudding dish is rose water. It has a unique flavor, so describing it simply as sweet wouldn’t do it any justice. But I will say it loud and proud! It gives this special dish a depth that no other essence or syrup can.
Also, a powerhouse ingredient of this yummy dessert is Ashta! Also known as kashta or clotted cream,, it is a recurring theme in many of my desserts because it is just that good! Plus, a lot of Middle Eastern recipes call for this delicious sweet cream! Remember, ashta is super versatile in its uses and adds that dense creaminess that some desserts need.
A Dessert Fitting a King!
What Makes This Recipe Special?
There are countless reasons that make this recipe simply irresistible!
First, this Rose Water Bread Pudding uses caramelized sugar to create the syrup, whereas other variations are made with regular rose water syrup, which is usually transparent or a little yellowish.
In addition, there are two layers of toast in this variation, making the bread an integral part of the dish, contrary to other takes on this dish.
Finally, the creamy Ashta on the backdrop of the sweet-soaked toast is music to the taste buds! The Ashta recipe used in this dish is totally bomb!
Recipe Variations You Might Consider
Although, according to my Instagram friends, this recipe is bound to steal hearts and taste buds all on its own, I do know a few variations that you might consider trying.
Make this recipe gluten-free by substituting the white bread for a smooth gluten-free bread.
Also, consider dabbling with the flavors if you feel like your Ashta needs a touch of fruity flavors. Add some purée strawberries or lemon zest to your Ashta cream for a tropical kick.
Finally, you might want to play around with the toppings. This dessert is usually served with layers of pistachios and toasted nuts, but you can get creative and serve this dessert with dried or fresh fruits, caramel drizzle, or chocolate shavings.
Give This Middle Eastern Delicacy a Try!
Tips for The Best Results
Tip 1: Use regular-sized toast. If you used thicker-sized toast, then make sure you use more syrup to drench it. You want the bread to be soaked and soft versus tough and dry.
Tip 2: It is important to leave the bread to cool down for about 10 minutes before spreading the Ashta on top.
Tip 3: If you are craving some extra sweetness, then you might want to add some orange blossom water, vanilla extract, or vanilla beans.
Frequently Asked Questions
The pudding can last for 2–3 days if properly stored in the fridge.
You can use both. If you use thick bread, make sure you use enough syrup to fully coat the bread. If you use thin bread, then put a second layer to soak the syrup
I would recommend chilling the dessert for about four hours before serving. This would allow the flavors to properly sit in for your maximum enjoyment.
Top It with Pistachios, Roasted Nuts, Or Dried Fruits!
The Ingredients You Need
- white toast
- rose water
- Galbani ricotta cheese
- whole milk or heavy cream
- corn starch
- cane sugar
Follow These Easy Steps
Start by making your Sweet Clotted Cream-Ashta
Bread Pudding Instructions
First, cut the edges around the toast. Lay the toast on a large baking sheet, then broil on both sides until golden brown. Remove then place in a 9×13 baking dish stacking them into 2 layers.
Meanwhile, add the sugar to a medium-size pot on high heat and whisk until sugar has melted and browned into a caramel color.
Next, Remove the pot off of stove top. Move away from the pot and gently pour in 2 cups of room temperature water. The sugar will harden.
Be careful while pouring and be sure to move back since the sugar will bubble. Add rosewater, then place the pot back onto the stove top and whisk over high heat until the sugar has melted again.
Then, pour the sugar syrup over the layered toast making sure they are all soaked. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, Then broil on low for 10.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Spread a thick layer of Ashta and garnish with ground pistachios and toasted nuts.
Other Recipes You May Want To Try
- Middle Eastern Pancakes (Atayif)
- Lebanese Maamoul Cookies
- Halawet EL Riz- Rice and Cheese Cream
- Osmaliyi Dessert With Ashta
- Simple Syrup (Ater)
- Easy Knafeh With Mozzarella Cheese
- Low Carb Turmeric Cake-Sfoof
- Halawet El Riz-Rice And Cheese Cream
- Date Biscuit Nut Bars
- Ashtello-Panna Cotta
Aish El Saraya- Rose Water Bread Pudding
Sweet Cream -Ashta Recipe
Bread Pudding Instructions
- Cut the edges around the toast. Lay the toast on a large baking sheet, then broil on both sides until golden brown. Remove then place in a 9×13 baking dish stacking them into 2 layers.
- Meanwhile, add the sugar to a medium-size pot. High heat and whisk until sugar has melted and browned into a caramel color.
- Remove the pot off of stove top. Move away from the pot and gently pour in 2 cups of room temperature water. The sugar will harden.
- Be careful while pouring and be sure to move back since the sugar will bubble. Add rosewater and place the pot back onto the stove top and whisk over high heat until the sugar has melted again
- Pour the sugar syrup over the layered toast making sure they are all soaked. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, Then broil on low for 10.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Spread a thick layer of Ashta, and garnish with ground pistachios and toasted nuts.